10 Reasons to Jot Down Your Daily Activities

If you keep an internal blog it should be useful.

You don't need to write down the number of times you brush your teeth or take a bath every day - nor is it necessary to detail your life story on a notepad. But, if you can determine ways to turn aspects of your life into a internal-search-engine of sorts - that might turn out to be handy.

1 Fitness. Keep track of the stuff you do on the days you do cardio or visit the gym:

  • The number of minutes you spend on the treadmill.
  • Your reps on the abdominal machine.
  • The time or distance riding your mountain bike.
  • Count the flutter kicks you do in your bunk as part of you drag-yourself-out-of-bed routine.

You can jot down the information on paper or in an online calendar - anywhere of your choosing. The idea is to be able to look back to note progress and weigh improvement in areas of interest.

2 To-do lists. Send yourself email messages. Save email messages as drafts. Take notes on your cell phone. The old school version of this is obviously to carry around a pad of paper and pen, which is also highly recommended. Otherwise, you may be stuck in restaurant somewhere jotting down your ideas on a table napkin.

3 Send email messages to friends, family, co-workers. This type of internal-interaction-log differs from the above in that you click the send button to interact with whomever. You can sneakily put the onus on others by way of telling someone who expects you to buy something (outside of birthdays and holidays), "sure, no problem," and "don't forget to send me the link so I know which one you want." Similarly, you can use cell phone text messages for more important communications, as well as to stay in touch with special people. Never send anything negative in emails or phone messages, unless of course you are shotgunning a safety message to multiple recipients: Bridge is out on I-44, bro!

4 To public-blog or not. You can regular-blog (expose to the world) your various lists, as most people eventually do. In other words, much online writing begins as to-do lists and other brainstorming methods, and is then expanded into full text blog posts and articles. Product reviewers, for example, obviously begin as shopping lists - with the products purchased or acquired and then written about.

5 Generic shopping lists. Store an ever-changing generic list of items you periodically purchase on your cell phone. "Ever-changing" means that you are sure to add other items and errands to the list as they arise. Also maintain a travel packing list in your cell phone or in an online calendar that runs the gamut from "passport" to "socks" - so you don't forget anything if you have to leave at the last minute.

6 Draft Word or open source documents on your hard drive. An interesting exercise is to examine the hundreds of draft documents stored on your home or office computer, and then generate new to-do lists based on things you may have forgotten due to interruptions. Use your computer's search function to look for specific terms on your hard drive.

7 Web browser favorites and bookmarks. If you use Internet Explorer, the latest version has a new Add to Favorites Bar that is incredibly fast and useful, just don't use it too often or you will defeat the purpose of bookmarking an important web site (and have too many Favorites). I prefer Chrome these days, as it has even more powerful bookmarking features.

8 Social bookmarks. Digg it, or whatever. If you run out of browser bookmarks or favorites - go online with everything. It's just another example of digital substitution, as books and other information products are transferred from a paper business model to the web.

9 Dry erase board. Important to-do items can surprise you in the morning if you pen them in thick dry erase marker on a dry erase board that rests in front of your monitor.

10 My favorite: Digital frame. Scan in recurring bills and other reminders to watch them display and rotate through a digital frame as a reminder of how much you procrastinate. Some writers do the same with writer rejection notices for giggles and grins, as well as to develop new writing ideas. Turn off the frame if it's too distracting.

Not all of the above methods are searchable, but if you opt for the digital versions, many are. For example:

  • Your fitness activities noted in a Google Calendar are searchable by key word.
  • Your social bookmarks are searchable via your name or Internet handle.
  • And obviously your blog is searchable to the world.

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Cool idea, I think I'll start doing that ...

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